When working on guttering, safety is the first concern. Gutter work should ideally be carried out from fixed scaffolding.
Guttering can be made from different materials, but you will find it most commonly made from UPVC. This type of guttering is lightweight, straightforward to fit and requires little maintenance. This leaflet shows how to fit this type of guttering, although the same principles can be applied to other types.
Guttering is supplied in standard lengths, normally 2 or 4m. It is easily cut with a hand saw. On a long run, where lengths require joining, use joint brackets. These wide support clips with rubber gaskets create a watertight joint.
Gutter profiles are commonly half-round in section, but other profiles are available, which are squarer or more ornate.
When fitting guttering base decisions on which way a run will flow according to the position of gullies and drains because this is where the downpipes must be directed. Some downpipes will terminate above ground and others underground, so take this into account when deciding whether you need a downpipe shoe at the bottom, or just to let the pipe run directly into the drain.
Leaking, blocked or badly placed gutters can cause problems with damp. This is easily avoided if gutters are kept clear of debris, and loose joints are fixed as soon as you see them. Rainwater is conventionally directed into underground drainage systems but can be collected in water butts positioned below gutter downpipes and recycled for watering the garden.
Blocked downpipes often result from a build up of leaves and debris finding its way into the drainage system. Consider fitting leaf guards to prevent this from happening. A well-maintained guttering system will increase the efficient flow of water from roof to drain.
Guttering systems that recycle rainwater for household use are available. This is eco-friendly and will save money on your water bill.
A gutter run must slope slightly so that water will run efficiently to the downpipes. The gradient needed to maintain this flow is 1:350 or 1cm in every 3.5m.
To repair a leak at a gutter joint, it is best to replace the joint than to use a sealant to patch it up